he puko’a ku no ka moana

he pūkoʻa kani ʻāina
“a coral reef that grows into an island”

A person beginning in a small way gains steadily until he becomes firmly established. // Just like a single polyp that grows into a coral head that builds into an island, start small, slowly build, & persevere towards your larger goals.

Nui news on Maui

Great news for both TNC & Maui!

DLNR announced on Monday that they will officially be including a recent 3,721-acre addition to The Nature Conservancy Waikamoi Preserve into the state’s Natural Area Partnership Program, a program that encourages innovative partnerships across landowner boundaries.

Last April, the East Maui Irrigation Company, Ltd. granted TNC a conservation easement over the 3,741-acre plot that was adjacent to TNC’s existing Waikamoi Preserve.  Combined, these two parcels add up to be the largest natural preserve at almost 9,000 acres.

Boardwalk, Waikamoi Preserve, Maui PC: Grady Timmons
Boardwalk, Waikamoi Preserve, Maui
PC: Grady Timmons

The new extension spans from 3,600 to 9,500 feet above sea level, consisting of undeveloped rainforests; ʻōhiʻa forests that are home to 20 threatened or endangered plant and animal species including ʻākohekohe and kiwikiu.

Last week, DLNR announced that Wailuku Water Company would be releasing 10 million gallons of water per day into the ʻIao stream, starting Monday, October 13, 2014.   This is the first time in more than a century that there will be continuous water flow through ʻIao stream; the diversion of this stream dates back to the 1800’s.   This is not just good news for Maui, but provides an example for what can happen in the future.  The fight wasn’t easy for Wailuku and it took over 10 years to get to where they are today, but the water that is flowing means a lot to those who have fought for this for so long.

A lot of conservation doesn’t happen overnight but hard work and dedication truly pays off in the long end.  Congratulations to everyone that was involved in both of these great accomplishments!

pupukahi i holomua


pūpūkāhi i holomua

“unite in order to progress”

Three marine fellows & TNC’s new legal fellow, Shae, enjoying a kayak tour lead by a community member in Olowalu, Maui.

A lot of conservation work is about collaboration and partnerships.  Much of the work cannot be completed alone, many hands make for light work.

Through out the fellowship we do a lot of work together but we also do a lot of work on projects individually.  Whether we are together or not, at the end of the day we always come together and share our experiences and mana’o.  We are a cohort dedicated to learning and working together to help conserve Hawai’i for a better tomorrow.

hoooohoooo where’s all the uhu?

Uhu (parrotfish), kumu & moano (goatfish) are some of the most sought after fish (so ono!) throughout the islands, traditionally and still today.  Currently, statewide, the only regulation on uhu is a minimum size of 12 inches, regardless of species or gender, while the regulation on kumu and moano are a minimum catch size of 10 and 7 inches, respectively.  The existing regulations are problematic for several reasons, the female uhu are likely being fished before reaching reproductive size and the terminal males are a prized catch because of their larger size.

Uhu are protogynous hermaphrodites, they are born female and change to a male when they reach a certain size.  Uhu also expressing sexual dichromatism, males having more color, ie, the bright blue colors, in comparison to the females.

The new proposed rules to be implemented on Maui will put a bag limit of 2 uhu per person per day, also regulating the smaller uhu including Scarus psittacus, Scarus dubius, Chlorurus spilurus, Calotomus zonarchus, and Calotomus carolinus to a 10 inch mimimum take size and the larger uhu, including Chlorurus perspicillatus, uhu ‘uli’uli and Scarus rubroviolaceus, palukaluka, to a minimum take size of 14 inches and no take of blue males.  The rules also include new regulations on goatfish, with a minimum take size at 12 inches for Parupeneus porphyreus, kumu, Mulloidichthys pflugeri, weke nono, and Parupeneus cyclostomus, moana kea with additional bag limits for kumu at 1 fish per person per day and weke nono and moano kea at 2 fish per person per day.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider the rules on Friday.

For the full news video with Hawaii News Now, click here.

connecting people, places, & planet

Do you love plants & animals? Do you love working outdoors, whether in the mountains or the ocean? Do you love meeting new, like-minded people?

There is a great web & mobile app powered by the Hawaii Conservation Alliance (HCA), that lists sites all around the state to volunteer, intern, research and learn.  Download the app or visit conservationconnections.org to search for opportunities to get involved in local communities & spend time with the ʻāina.  You can browse by category: mauka, makai, maoli, activity: nature walks, education & outreach, monitoring & surveying, etc., or type: site, program.  Finding a way to become involved has never been easier, mahalo HCA for developing such a great tool!

Hungry Hungry Fish!!!

Kaneohe Bay is such a beautiful place filled with a variety of marine life. However, not all the marine life is good for the bay. In Kaneohe there is an invasive algae called Smothering Seaweed; this is a robust algae that can literally smother coral and out compete the native algae. To combat such a ferocious beast The Nature Conservancy has established quite a tool belt, this includes an underwater vacuum to remove the algae, and an army of native sea urchins to help eat the scraps. These methods have been proven to be successful but more research can be done.

A question that is being asked is how much of the smothering seaweed do the grazing fish in the bay eat? To answer this question an experiment was designed that put a piece of the invasive algae in a small cage and a piece of the algae outside of the cage next to it. Each of these algae pieces were weighted prior to being put in the water. Four days later when they are removed they will both be weighted again.

This experiment will show a ratio between how fast the algae in the cage can grow without being grazed upon compared to how much the algae not in the cage weight will change with the addition of fish nibbling on it. The results are still a work in progress but when they are in they will be shared here!


Conservation for the people

Amidst the prevailing winds, plentiful windsurfers, and sharky waters of Wailuku lie beautiful reefs and happy fishes.  Standing on the dock of Kahului Harbor, looking out onto the seas, one may never wish to jump right into these waters and go for a swim.  Yet last week, the marine monitoring team along with Kirsten jumped right in and conducted some ecosystem surveys.

kydd & roxie ready to drop in
kydd & roxie ready to drop in

The water was fun, however the highlight of the trip were the connections that were made.  The crew had the chance to connect with the Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit (CFEU), a one of a kind DLNR/DOCARE unit that focuses their efforts on patrolling a 13 mile wide stretch of coast on North Maui.  This stretch of coast sees a lot of fishing pressure and provides protein sustenance for the surrounding communities.  Not only does the CFEU practice enforcement they also promote pono fishing practices through education and community outreach.  What stands out the most about the CFEU personnel is their dedication to their jobs, you can see their passion radiate when they speak of their experiences with the community and the water.  The crew has an unprecedented knowledge of the coastline from resident marine life populations to benthic habitats to daily tidal changes, but what is more surprising is the general level of respect the local fishermen hold for the CFEU unit.

CFEU NIGHT PATROL from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

The unit just made their one year mark, and the crew said with grins across their faces “its only maintenance now.  When we started, endless amounts of calls were coming in and violations were plentiful.  Now its all about maintaining our presence and continuing to build relationships with the local communities.”  Their success is undeniable, they have seen a 21% decrease in illegal fishing complaints in the past year, conducted 468 fisher inspections, and have observed a 88% compliance rate with fishing regulations.  Already, the officers are seeing an improvement in the fish populations in the surrounding areas.

For more information on the CFEU please visit the DLNR site here.

The Journey of Three Marine Fellows


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